Entertainment

The Best Musicals Based on Movies  

Buster McDermott
6.7k votes 590 voters 21.7k views 71 items

List Rules Only stage musicals that cite films as their original source material - no adaptations directly from other mediums

List of musicals based on movies, ranked by fans and casual critics. Stage theatre has been a primary form of entertainment for thousands of years, in the forms of plays, operas, and musicals. Around the world, dozens of theatrical performances are brought to life on stages big and small. Most notably, the theatre districts of Broadway in Manhattan and the West End in London are home to the catchiest, most elaborate, most memorable musicals. Nothing is more inspirational than experiencing the art of actors who can also sing and dance with grace and style in front of a large audience of people. It’s no wonder that plays and musicals have remained so popular throughout the years! What are the best musicals based on films?

This list includes the greatest plays and musicals that were inspired by movies, ranked according to the opinions of voters. Which soundtracks have you played nonstop? Which lyrics have you memorized? Some of these plays on this list were smash hit successful Broadway productions that scored several awards and made the actors instant successes. Others are newer shows that are still in trial runs for smaller audiences in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.

In addition to direct adaptations from film to stage, this list includes musicals inspired by movies that weren't musicals to begin with. Wondering why you don't remember the songs from Billy Elliott or Sunset Boulevard? That's because there weren't any. 
list ordered by
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26
Once (2011) is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Once (2011)
Once (2006)
27
Fame (1988) is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Fame (1988)
Fame (1980)
28
Sister Act the Musical is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Alan Menken , Glenn Slater , Cherie Steinkellner
Sister Act (1992)
29
Elf: The Musical (2010) is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Elf: The Musical (2010)
Elf (2003)
30
Snow White and the Seven Dwarf... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1979)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
31
Young Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Irving Berlin , Mel Brooks , Thomas Meehan
Young Frankenstein (1974), dir. by Mel Brooks
32
Seven Brides for Seven Brother... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), which was based on "The Sobbin' Women" by Stephen Vincent Benét
33
9 to 5 (2008) is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
9 to 5 (2008)
9 to 5 (1980)
34
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Dean Pitchford , Lawrence D. Cohen
 Carrie (1976)
35
42nd Street is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Mark Bramble , Al Dubin , Harry Warren
42nd Street (1933), which was based on the novel (1932) by Bradford Ropes
36
Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Terrence McNally , Scott Wittman , Marc Shaiman
Catch Me If You Can (2002), which was based on the autobiography (1980) by Frank Abagnale, Jr.
37
Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Christopher Hampton , Don Black , Andrew Lloyd Webber
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
38
Bring It On (2011) is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Bring It On (2011)
Bring It On (2000)
39
Scrooge is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Leslie Bricusse
Scrooge (1970), which was based on the novella A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens
40
The Wedding Singer is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
The Wedding Singer (2006) Chad Beguelin , Matthew Sklar , Tim Herlihy
The Wedding Singer (1998)
41
Applause is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
frostyinsomniac added Adolph Green , Betty Comden , Charles Strouse
42
High School Musical on Stage! is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
43
A Christmas Story: The Musical... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
A Christmas Story: The Musical (2009)
A Christmas Story (1983)
44
A Wonderful Life (1991) is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
A Wonderful Life (1991)
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
45
The Who's Tommy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
pigonthewing added Des McAnuff , Pete Townshend
46
Meet Me in St. Louis is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Meet Me in St. Louis (1989) Hugh Wheeler , Hugh Martin , Ralph Blane
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
47
Tarzan of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Tarzan (1999), which was based on Tarzan of the Apes (1912) by Edgar Rice Burroughs
48
Saturday Night Fever is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Nan Knighton
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
49
Xanadu (2007) is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Xanadu (2007)
 Xanadu (1980), which was based on the movie Down to Earth (1947)
50
The Full Monty is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Terrence McNally , David Yazbek
The Full Monty (1997)